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September 14, 2023

The Top Ten Venue and Event Management Mistakes and How to Prevent Them

Events are high-stakes environments because they’re finite. You have one chance to deliver a great event, then it’s over. For this reason, venue and event professionals only have a limited window to deliver exceptional experiences for attendees and the best possible business outcomes for stakeholders. This leaves little room for error and avoidable event management mistakes.

Yet, mistakes at events can and do happen. Sometimes, these mistakes are entirely preventable; other times, mistakes happen due to a lack of experience or unforeseen circumstances. The challenge for successful event businesses is to avoid common preventable mistakes, limit the impact of any other incidents that arise and ultimately ensure successful event delivery.  

What are the top event management mistakes?

Venue and event management mistakes vary depending on your organization and the types of events you work with. Still, there are some common event management mistakes that you’re almost certain to encounter. 

1. Overbooking spaces, equipment and resources

One of the most common event management mistakes venue and event organizers experience is booking conflicts. Whether double-booking a venue, audiovisual equipment, or furniture, booking conflicts cause unnecessary yet avoidable stress for event professionals.  

To minimize booking mistakes, you must have the right venue booking and inventory management tools so your team can access accurate availability when booking spaces and other resources.  

2. Lacking a suitable back-up plan

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  

Venue and event managers without effective backup solutions leave themselves, attendees and key stakeholders in highly vulnerable positions. From failing to have a poor weather alternative for an outdoor event to relying on single power sources without backup generators, many common event management mistakes stem from having little-to-no backup plan. 

Conduct a thorough risk assessment before every event. Cover every possible risk, from safety matters to weather events to venue changes and so on. Then consider effective backup solutions in advance of the event, rather than when the issue arises during the event. 

3. Poor registration processes

Arguably, one of the biggest mistakes that venues and event organizations make is failing to recognize that the event experience starts at the time of booking or registration rather than the arrival at the event. Venues and event businesses that rely on outdated, manual systems risk losing potential registrations when users become frustrated at the registration processes.  

Counter this issue by opting for a modern registration platform with a simplified user interface. The right platform empowers venues and event organizations to encourage potential attendees to register for upcoming events, while making the process itself simpler. 

4. Mismanaging event budgets and funds

Event organizations worldwide are struggling to maintain profitability while simultaneously experiencing increased costs. Consumers also have less disposable income due to increased cost of living, further impacting the events industry. There’s never been a worse time to make event budgeting mistakes, yet it’s not uncommon for events departments to overspend. 

Just as you came up with a backup plan, looking over every possible risk beforehand, you need to develop a budget plan. Itemize your potential costs, get quotes from multiple vendors and build in wiggle room in case of last-minute changes. 

5. Limited insights

From understanding your past performance to forecasting for the future, venue and event teams need access to accurate and relevant data to make informed business decisions. That said, management teams often lack the right tools to monitor and measure their event business performance. This means they have limited understanding of key business metrics, leading to poor choices for their business and, in extreme cases, critical event management mistakes. 

If you’re using any event software, see if it offers historical data and insights. If not, look for an event management platform that offers cross-platform data, insights and historical data. This allows you to make more informed decisions, forecast your budget, project sales and more. 

6. Ineffective sales management

Venues and event operators are notoriously time-poor and often make the mistake of getting too caught up in creating memorable experiences for event attendees. As a result, they don’t dedicate enough time to necessary administration tasks, sales management and business development activities like responding to new inquiries and following up on existing opportunities. This can result in losing out on potential bookings and significant revenue which limits business growth. 

Involve sales managers and CRM specialists in long-term event planning. This will allow them to take some off your plate, while also enabling cross-department collaboration. This is the perfect time to brainstorm event marketing, talk leads and more. 

7. Inconsistent communication

Effective communication is critical to the success of any business. Venues and events are no exception. Events are prone to last-minute changes, making communication especially important. Yet, oftentimes event departments rely on manual reports and disparate communication channels. This approach can leave certain people in the dark and result in errors. For example, if the catering team doesn’t know about changes to final guest numbers, some guests can wind up with a less than ideal dining experience. 

Streamline internal and external communications to keep all relevant stakeholders in the loop with any changes. Make sure everyone is on the same communication platform or messenger, regularly send reports to the right stakeholders and make sure there’s always redundancy built in, in case someone’s out sick. Cross-training your team on different functions is a great way to build in that redundancy and build a more effective events function overall. 

8. Outdated payment options

Many venues and event organizations make the mistake of relying on outdated payment systems like bank transfers and manual credit card transactions to accept payments for events. The challenge with these payment options is that they’re cumbersome, time-consuming and riddled with security issues.   

By switching to secure online payment portals, venue and event teams can streamline cash flow and account reconciliations while delighting their customers with user-friendly payment options. 

9. Failing to prioritize customer feedback

Capturing, reviewing and acting on customer feedback good or bad is critical to encouraging repeat customers and driving long-term business success. A common mistake venue and event managers make is not requesting customer feedback after every event. This means they don't benefit from valuable customer suggestions for improvement. In some cases, this also leads to recurring preventable mistakes and discourages customer loyalty.  

By sending automated customer feedback surveys or forms to all customers and event attendees following your events, you can capture valuable insights to help you prioritize areas for improvement. Then, come up with a plan to prioritize and act on relevant feedback.  

10. Relying on manual processes and underutilizing automation

Event and venue managers tend to be perfectionists who struggle to relinquish control. So, of all the mistakes that venues and event operators make, the one that has the most impact is that they often take on too many responsibilities. This overworking can cause burn out and result in careless event management mistakes.  

By leveraging automation to replace basic administrative duties and delegate workloads between relevant teams, venue and event operators ensure critical event management processes are done on time and to the right standard. In doing so, they can free up valuable time that can be reinvested in essential tasks like business development activities, delighting customers and developing innovative ways to improve their events. 

Prevent common mistakes with an all-in-one event management solution

It goes without saying, prevention is better than cure. Innovative technologies are available today to help you prevent and overcome common event management mistakes at your venue or event organization.   

Utilizing end-to-end software can streamline the complexities of managing your large-scale venues or events and enable you to increase revenue, reduce cost, boost productivity, improve efficiency and ensure long-term profitability. 

Contact us directly today to explore opportunities for your venue or event organization. 


Steve Mackenzie

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